10 Things To Know Before Buying A Pool Table: Make An Informed Choice

Before purchasing a pool table, it is important to conduct thorough research to ensure that you make an informed decision. A pool table is a significant investment and you want to be sure that you are purchasing the right one for your needs. In this article, I will provide you with 10 things to know before buying a pool table.

The first pool table you purchase can be a daunting process, but with the right information, you can make the most informed purchase. The buying process can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This article will guide you through the process, so you can purchase a pool table that meets your needs and budget.

When it comes to purchasing a pool table, there are many factors to consider. From the size of the table to the type of felt, wood, and slate used, there are many options to choose from. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to buy a pool table and what to look for in your purchase.

Size and Space Requirements

0ne of the most important things to consider is the size and space requirements. Choosing the wrong size or not having enough space can result in an uncomfortable playing experience and can even damage the table or the surrounding area. Therefore, it is essential to measure your selected room and ensure that you have enough space for comfortable play.

Room Dimensions

Before purchasing a pool table, it is important to measure your selected room to ensure that you have enough space for comfortable play. The minimum space needed for different table sizes is as follows:

Table SizePlaying SurfaceMinimum Room Size
7-foot39″ x 78″13′ x 16′
8-foot44″ x 88″13’6″ x 17′
9-foot50″ x 100″14’6″ x 18′

It is important to note that these are minimum room sizes and do not account for optimal cue length and swing space. To ensure comfortable play, it is recommended to have an additional 4-5 feet of space around the table for seating and movement.

Table Sizes

Pool tables come in standard sizes of 7-foot, 8-foot, and 9-foot. When choosing a table size, it is important to consider your room size and intended use. A 7-foot table is suitable for smaller rooms and casual play, while an 8-foot or 9-foot table is recommended for larger rooms and serious players.

Types of Pool Tables

There are different types to choose from depending on your needs and preferences. Here are some of the most common types of pool tables you might encounter:

Slate vs. Non-Slate

Pool tables can be made with either slate or non-slate playing surfaces. Slate is the preferred material for serious players because it provides a more accurate and consistent playing surface. Non-slate tables are usually less expensive and lighter, but they may not provide the same level of playability as slate tables.

The advantages of slate tables include their durability and resistance to warping over time. However, they can be quite heavy and difficult to move. Non-slate tables are much lighter and easier to move, but they may not be as durable or long-lasting as slate tables.

If you’re looking for a true playing surface, it’s important to consider the thickness of the slate. Thicker slate provides a more consistent playing surface, but it can also be more expensive.

Outdoor vs. Indoor

Another consideration when buying a pool table is whether you want an outdoor or indoor table. Outdoor tables are specifically designed to withstand the elements and are made with weatherproof materials. They are ideal for those who want to enjoy a game of pool outside, but they may not provide the same level of playability as indoor tables.

Indoor tables are made with a variety of materials, including wood, slate, and composite materials. They are usually more affordable than outdoor tables and provide a more traditional playing experience. However, they are not designed to withstand the elements and should only be used indoors.

When choosing between an outdoor and indoor table, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and location. If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions or plan to keep your table outside, an outdoor table may be the best option. If you plan to use your table primarily indoors, an indoor table will likely meet your needs.

Pool Table Materials and Construction

When it comes to buying a pool table, the materials and construction are two of the most important factors to consider. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Frame and Leg Strength

The frame and legs of a pool table are crucial to its stability and durability. The types of construction materials used for the frame and legs can vary, but some common options include solid wood, MDF, and metal. Solid wood, such as oak or walnut, is a popular choice for high-end pool tables due to its strength and durability. MDF and composite materials are often used for lower-end tables, but they may not be as durable as solid wood. Metal frames and legs can be a good choice for outdoor pool tables or tables that will be exposed to moisture.

When it comes to leg construction, look for tables with thick, sturdy legs that are securely attached to the frame. The legs should also be adjustable so that you can level the table on uneven surfaces.

Cloth and Cushions

The cloth and cushions on a pool table can also have a big impact on its performance. Most pool tables use either woolen or worsted fabric for the playing surface. Woolen cloth is a more affordable option and is often used on lower-end tables. Worsted cloth, on the other hand, is a higher-quality option that offers better playability and durability.

The cushions on a pool table are also important. They are typically made from rubber, and the consistency of the bounce can vary depending on the quality of the rubber. Look for tables with high-quality cushions that provide a consistent and accurate bounce.

Style and Design

Style and design are important factors to consider. You want to choose a table that matches your home décor and personal aesthetic. There are many styles to choose from, including classic, contemporary, and custom designs.

If you have a classic or traditional home, you may want to consider a classic pool table design. These tables typically have a more ornate and elegant look, with carved legs and intricate details. On the other hand, if you have a more modern or contemporary home, you may prefer a sleek and minimalist design.

Custom pool tables are also an option if you want something truly unique and personalized. You can choose everything from the color of the felt to the style of the legs, creating a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture that perfectly matches your home décor.

While aesthetics are important, it’s also important to consider functionality when choosing a pool table. Multi-use tables, such as pool table dining tops or conversion tops, are a great option if you have limited space or want to maximize the use of your table. However, it’s important to balance design with practicality and choose a table that meets your needs while also looking great in your home.

Playability and Performance

It is important to consider the playability and performance of the table. These factors can greatly affect the overall enjoyment of the game, as well as the skill level required to play effectively.

One of the most important factors in playability is the quality of the felt on the table. A good felt will provide a smooth and consistent playing surface, allowing for accurate shots and easy ball movement. It is important to choose a felt that is durable and long-lasting, as well as one that is easy to maintain and keep clean.

Another key aspect of playability is the playing surface itself. The surface should be level and free from any bumps or imperfections that could affect the trajectory of the ball. Table leveling is critical to ensure a level playing surface, and there are both built-in leveling systems and professional services available to achieve this.

The speed of the playing surface is also an important consideration. A good table will have a consistent speed, allowing for accurate and predictable shots. Some tables even feature “super speed” surfaces, which can add an extra level of challenge and excitement to the game.

Finally, the cushions and rails of the table can greatly affect the gameplay. High-quality cushions will provide a consistent bounce, allowing for accurate bank shots and cushion shots. It is important to choose a table with sturdy and durable rails, as these can greatly affect the longevity of the table.

When it comes to pocket preferences, there are two main options: drop pockets and ball return systems. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference and the impact on gameplay and convenience.

Brand Reputation and Reviews

When it comes to purchasing a brand-new pool table, it is essential to consider the brand reputation and reviews before making a decision. The brand reputation is crucial as it gives you an idea of the quality of the product you are buying. You want to ensure that you are investing your money in a good option that will last for years to come.

One of the most reputable brands in the billiard industry is Presidential Billiards. They have been in the business for over 40 years and have built a reputation for producing high-quality pool tables. Olhausen Billiards is another reputable brand that has been in the industry for over 50 years. They are known for their attention to detail and quality craftsmanship.

Checking customer reviews is also crucial when researching brands. Reading reviews from other customers who have purchased the same brand and model can provide valuable insight into the product’s quality and durability. It is essential to consider both positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded understanding of the product.

In addition to customer reviews, industry awards can also be an indicator of a brand’s reputation. Brands that have won awards for their quality and craftsmanship are likely to provide a good option for a brand-new pool table.

Before making a purchase, it is important to do your research and consider the brand reputation and reviews. This will ensure that you invest in a high-quality pool table that will last for years to come.

Installation and Assembly

When it comes to buying a pool table, installation and assembly are important factors to consider. You have two options: professional installation or DIY installation. While DIY installation may seem like a cheaper option, the complexities of pool table assembly should not be taken lightly. If you are not confident in your ability to assemble the table, it is best to hire a professional to do it for you.

Professional installation services come with a cost, but they offer many benefits. Professional installers have the necessary tools and experience to ensure that your pool table is assembled correctly and that it is level. They can also provide valuable advice on where to place the table in your home to ensure optimal playability.

If you decide to go the DIY route, it is important to have help during the set-up process. Pool table pieces are quite bulky and heavy, so having someone to help with the set-up will make the process easier. It is also important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the table is assembled correctly and level.

Once your pool table is assembled, it is important to keep in mind that it may need to be moved in the future. Moving a pool table can be a logistical challenge, so it is best to plan ahead. You may need to hire professional movers to ensure that the table is moved safely and without damage. After the table has been moved, it may also need to be re-clothed and leveled to ensure optimal playability.

Accessories and Equipment

There are a few essential accessories that you will need to get started. These include cue sticks, balls, racks, and covers. Cue sticks are your primary tools for making precise shots. Consider having a set of cues that vary in length and weight to accommodate different players and shot types. Good cues are essential for accurate gameplay. Pool cue quality varies based on materials, craftsmanship, and design.

Balls come in a variety of materials, including resin, polyester, and ceramic. Resin balls are the most common and affordable, while ceramic balls are the most expensive and durable. Racks are used to hold the balls in place during the game and are available in different materials, including wood and plastic. Table covers are used to protect the surface of the table from scratches and damage when not in use.

When it comes to accessories, there are always new and innovative products hitting the market. However, it’s important to keep in mind that quality and pricing can vary greatly. Before investing in any new accessories, make sure to do your research and read reviews from other players to ensure you’re getting a quality product at a fair price.

For those who are looking to take their game to the next level, there are advanced equipment options available. Electronic scoring systems can help keep track of the score and eliminate the need for manual scorekeeping. Training aids, such as cue ball control devices and stroke trainers, can help improve your technique and accuracy. Lighting is also an important consideration, as it can greatly impact the visibility and overall ambiance of the game room.

Budgeting and Cost

When it comes to buying a pool table, budgeting and cost are important factors to consider. Before making a purchase, it’s essential to have a clear idea of how much you’re willing to spend. This will help you narrow down your options and find a table that fits your budget.

Upfront Costs

The price of a pool table can vary greatly depending on the type, brand, and size. Basic economy tables can cost between $1,200 to $2,100, while high-end tables can cost upwards of $10,000 or more. It’s important to do your research and compare prices to find the best deal.

In addition to the cost of the table itself, there are also hidden costs to consider. Delivery and installation fees can add up quickly, so be sure to factor these into your budget. Some sellers may offer free delivery and installation, so it’s worth shopping around to find the best deal.

Long-Term Investments

Buying a pool table is not just a one-time expense. There are also long-term investments to consider. Maintenance costs, such as replacing the felt or repairing any damage, can add up over time. It’s important to budget for these costs to ensure that your table stays in good condition.

Another factor to consider is the resale value and depreciation of the table. While a high-end table may hold its value better than a basic economy table, all tables will eventually depreciate over time. If you’re planning on selling your table in the future, it’s important to keep this in mind.

Test Before You Buy

As someone who has purchased a pool table before, I cannot stress enough the importance of testing out a table before making a purchase. Different tables offer different experiences, and it’s crucial to find one that suits your playing style and preferences.

One option is to visit a showroom or store that has pool tables available for testing. This allows you to get a feel for the table and see how it plays before making a commitment. It’s also a good opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the table’s condition, maintenance, or other features.

Another option is to rent a pool table as a trial run. Rental experiences can inform purchase decisions, as they allow you to test out a table in your own home environment. This is especially helpful if you’re unsure about the size or style of table you want to purchase.


Moreover, remember that a pool table is not just an inanimate object; it has the power to bring people together, foster connections, and create lasting memories. It becomes a focal point of your home, a hub of laughter and friendly competition.

Here’s to finding the perfect pool table that will be a testament to your passion, a catalyst for unforgettable experiences, and a cherished part of your journey in the world of pool.

FAQs About Pool Table Buying Guide

What is the best size pool table?

Choosing the right size pool table is crucial to ensure that you have enough space to play comfortably. Generally, the size of the pool table depends on the size of your game room or the space where you plan to install it. The most common sizes of pool tables are 7 feet, 8 feet, and 9 feet. A 7-foot pool table is ideal for smaller rooms, while an 8-foot table is perfect for medium-sized rooms. A 9-foot pool table is ideal for larger rooms and provides a more professional playing experience.

What is the most popular pool table color?

When it comes to the color of the pool table, it’s a matter of personal preference. However, the most popular colors are green, blue, and red. These colors are ideal for the felt on the pool table and provide a classic look that never goes out of style.

What are some reputable brands that exemplify craftsmanship and durability in pool tables?

There are several reputable brands that manufacture high-quality pool tables. These brands include Brunswick, Olhausen, and Diamond. These brands are known for their superior craftsmanship and durability, and they offer a wide range of pool tables to suit different tastes and budgets.

When buying a pool table, it’s essential to test it before you buy it. This will help you determine if the table is in good condition and if it provides the playing experience you’re looking for. If possible, visit a showroom to see different pool tables and experience the different playing experiences they offer. Also, consider the condition of the pool table and ensure that it’s in good condition before making a purchase.

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